ETA: Thanks to the compassionate reporting of Trudy Ring at The Advocate, we now know that the victim was known as Cemia “Ci Ci” Dove, 20 years old, from Cleveland. The Plain Dealer has since edited the offending article, removing the pronoun “he”, and added the statement: “This story has been edited since originally posted to bring it within the style recommended by the Associated Press involving transgender people.” View the original piece that caused so much hurt in the LGBT community here.
Donations for Dove’s family can be made at TransOhio.
Upon confirming that a dead body recently discovered in Olmstead Township was indeed a transgender woman currently undergoing hormone therapy, Plain Dealer “reporter” John Caniglia was excited to let his readers know that the woman’s “fight for acceptance” was finally over.
Despite being fully aware that Ms. Acoff identified as a woman and was taking estrogen, John goes on to mis-gender her by using the wrong pronoun exactly eleven times in the article, as well as not-so-subtly insinuating that she was a criminal and a liar who ultimately deserved whatever happened to her. This is exactly the kind of vitriol that feeds and strengthens the hatred many people already feel for anyone outside of the gender binary. The murder rate for trans* men and women is egregiously high already (which, apparently, wasn’t important enough to mention in an article about yet another trans* woman being murdered) and anyone that uses their public platform to feed this beast bears a portion of the blame. They must be made to answer for the blood on their hands.
Now, I’m not naive enough to be surprised at seeing yet another trans* victim disrespected in the press – the few outlets reporting on this matter are all guilty of mis-gendering the victim – I am genuinely surprised at how blatant John’s contempt is. While reading this drivel that he calls “reporting”, one almost feels as if you can actually see his eyes narrowed underneath beads of sweat as he furiously hit the backspace key on sentences that weren’t nearly hateful enough for him. It really does seem as if he deliberately tried to be as degrading as possible.
Mission accomplished, John. Hey, maybe after you finish your coffee tomorrow morning, we can meet at the burial site and piss on her grave? Just in case people didn’t quite get the message.
Feel free to let John know what you think by calling him at 216-999-4097 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org; if you’re a fellow Clevelander, you can submit a letter to the editor for Plain Dealer here.